It’s been a momentous two years since Jenny and The Mexicats released their highly acclaimed second album, OME. The multicultural quartet consisting of British frontwoman and trumpeter Jenny Ball, Mexican flamenco guitarist Alfonso Acosta “Pantera,” bassist Luis Díaz “Icho” and Spanish Cajon player David Gonzalez has spent the period since touring the globe and rocking crowds with their bilingual blend of rockabilly, jazz, flamenco and cumbia. So, when it came time to record their third independent album, Mar Abierto, the band took a well-deserved break from touring to reunite once again with producer Juan Garcia Alvarez at Valenzo Studios in Mexico City.
All of the band members agree the constant touring helped them mature as musicians, and felt like getting back to the studio was a reward for all their hard work. “It’s like a prize after so much time on the road to get to go back in the studio and create something new, something up to date and something that represents us 100%,” admits Jenny.
Recording the conceptual Mar Abierto presented a new challenge for the polyrhythmic Mexicats. “We’ve realized that with the change in the music industry, people pay attention to singles, focusing on one or two songs,” states the vivacious frontwoman. “We are all fans of hearing an album from start to finish, where one song ends and you start humming the next track before it even begins. We have found a way to connect all the songs on this record, with a running theme throughout.”
Mar Abierto’s fluidity springs from the guitar-driven opening of ‘La Primera Despedida’ and flows unhindered through the celebratory finale of ‘Agradecimientos’. The album offers an eclectic mixture of seven Spanish and six English compositions each diverse as the next in genre and resonance. The Anglo melodies of ‘Boxes’ and ‘Born in the City’ kick with uplifting pop and jazzy trumpeting while ‘Why Why’ represents the band’s first foray into English layered cumbia. Jenny has reached a confident maturity evident within the isolated vocals of ‘Lion’ and ‘Under My Skin’ and shares the harmonious spotlight during Spanish duets ‘Aprendimos’ and ‘Tanto Tiempo’. The saucy merengue of ‘La Diabla’ and reggae infused ‘Amplefire’ add extra spice to The Mexicats genre-bending catalog while the speedy flamenco riffs of ‘Ausencia’ and folky ‘Fantasmas’ should soothe fans with traditional Mexicats flavor.
Mar Abierto is the band’s most adventurous album to date incorporating a conceptual theme within its unique diversity. As much as Jenny and The Mexicats have enjoyed their time in the studio, they’re excited to present this new album to their fans. The band is currently touring America showcasing Mar Abierto to their adoring fans. Track Rambler had the luxury of witnessing Jenny and The Mexicats deliver a sensational performance at Austin’s Continental Club. Check out the spectacular images below captured by photographer Demetrius Judkins.
Jenny and The Mexicats video for ‘La Diabla’
Photos by: Demetrius Judkins